The UK government has introduced measures to cut carbon emissions on British roads by rewarding drivers who go green with tax breaks.
Almost every vehicle on the road in the UK has to pay road tax. The amount of tax paid varies depending on the vehicles age and emission levels. Recently the government announced that any vehicles emitting less than 100mg of CO2 per kilometre would pay no road tax whatsoever. Considering that road tax can vary from around £100 a year right up to £475 per year for vehicles with the poorest emission ratings you can see why choosing a more environmentally sound car when upgrading will make a lot of sense to British drivers.
Businesses are also making the most of the savings that can be made by going green:
Graphic supplied by The Accountancy Partnership
Company cars have a separate tax system in the UK but low emission cars are still, by far, the cheapest to tax; this will be music to the ears of any companies that run a fleet of vehicles. Also, the fact that there are close to 500 vehicles available in the UK that are low emitters, including vans and goods vehicles, means that companies really do have the option to replace the majority of their fleet. Businesses are usually reluctant to adopt environmental policies due to cost or time; so I think giving them a financial incentive to be more environmentally conscious is a canny move on the government’s part.
Another financial advantage that will appeal to businesses and the public alike is the announcement that low emission vehicles will also be exempt from the London congestion charge. The congestion charge is a £10 daily fee that must be paid to drive any vehicle emitting more than 100mg of CO2 per kilometre within London city centre between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. If a vehicle needs to travel within the congestion zone every working week throughout the year, discounting public holidays, the driver is likely to spend around £2400 a year on congestion charges. There are also penalties for non-payment which range between £60 and £190.
It isn’t just the government that is making low emission vehicles cheaper to run though. Insurance companies are offering lower premiums to drivers with environmentally friendly vehicles in the UK and diesel, which a lot of hybrids use, is a lot cheaper than petroleum at the service station.
If the UK can significantly reduce the amount of carbon emissions on its roads then hopefully more governments worldwide will adopt similar strategies for combatting harmful vehicle emissions.